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Power Oligarch Yakunin and His Co Fiercely Destroys Thousands of Pitsunda Pines, Plane-Trees and Deodars

Power Oligarch Yakunin and His Co Fiercely Destroys Thousands of Pitsunda Pines, Plane-Trees and Deodars
Denis Matveev 13.08.2013

Destruction of Pitsunda pine from Red Book as well as of other trees and shrubs occupying 30-meter right-of-way zone has been proceeding along railroad line Lazarevskoye – Adler during May-July, 2013. Mass saw cut of the unique trees growing only on the Black Sea coast of Russia and Abkhazia is carried out by the Russian Railway allegedly for traffic safety. Cut-down slopes start "creeping" and stones run on railroad tracks. Soon rare trees can disappear absolutely from right-of-way zone, each of these trees is counted up and brought into the register.

This anti-nature action is carried out according to the program "Strengthening of Infrastructure of the Railway Line Tuapse-Adler" which has been ordered by JSC RZhD.

Cutting down of pines and destruction of unique relic plant associations began in winter, 2011 when whole grove of Pitsunda pines was cut down on the cape of Vidnoe, hundred bushes of Montpelier false broom were destroyed or hastily replaced for fictitious report despite many months watch of activists of Environmental Watch on North Caucasus and Sochi office of RGO. In April, 2011 the whole site of Pitsunda pine was cut down along railroad haul between railway stations Dagomys and Loo, at that plants between railroad and beach were also destroyed with throwing of trunks and crowns to the beach.

As further events showed, this was only the half of it as nowadays a number of cut Pitsunda pines from Lazarevskoye to Adler reaches thousands and the Russian Railway doesn't care either the fact of relictness of these trees, or the fact that the slopes without them are exposed to erosion, fall and landslide processes that can turn back big troubles and expenses for the transport company.

Narrow-mindedness of the management of the Russian Railway surprises, for all time of existence of the road no pine ever fell on tracks, or contact wire as strong winds on coastal slopes are possible only from the sea to the land, uphill, not vise versa. Besides practically all trees here are exclusively healthy. They destroy not only adult trees but also young subgrowth at the age of 5-20 years. At that cut-down trunks and branches are, as a rule, burned directly then and there, at the bottom of slopes that provokes local fires and burning out of big areas of the forest laying of the adjacent wood with all subgrowth of trees as it occurred, for example, near the platform Soloniki. Heaps of spill received from wood by way of processing with the help of special grinders were noticed near to platforms Vardane and Lesnaya.

Bushes of Spanish broom which grew very far from railway bed towards the sea coast and didn’t threaten safety of movement of trains were cut down and burned near to the platform Makopse.

Mud flows on the tracks near the platform Vesna after plentiful heavy rain on July, 2 this year which brought to the running of the passenger train off the rail and overlapping of movement for several hours visually show what problems nature can present careless railroad workers after such criminal treatment of plants protecting slopes over railway bed. No concrete retaining walls and grids will rescue from new troubles if the plants are being destroyed.’

Besides, activity of Russian Railways in 2013 – 2013 brought to drying up and diseases of a large number of wood and shrubs along railway line conducting to the port Tuapse. Every spring they carry out dispersion of herbicides for destruction of weed grassy vegetation on it is along railways bed. Thus they naturally don’t pay attention to the norms of toxic chemicals and wind direction at dispersion, thus trees and bushes growing near including those which carry out noise-protective function appear to be chemicalized, after that they get ill and dry up. It does both esthetic and ecological damage. Already in 2010 and 2011 a large number of plane trees, lindens and Himalaya cedar adjacent to that railway line and station square of Tuapse was destroyed, while all neighboring plants suffered especially strongly in 2013.

In this regard Environmental Watch on North Caucasus considers it necessary to place a duty on cutting down of dried-up trees and landing of new ones on their place on Russian Railways and also to oblige Russian Railways to carry out fight against weeds using only mechanical, not chemical means.

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